The-Architects-Brother_Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison_2010 landscape

The Caregivers

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We’ve only just met, but the sharing is so intimate, so intense. We know everything about each other, and we know nothing. I haven’t taken care of myself in months, she says. In response, I realize that I am not who I thought I was. I see that I have suddenly shed my tragedy queen identity – I am now a beacon of future survival, a walking expression of hope. I am well being. I am proof. Or rather, I am the representative of Jaylan, the person who is all of these things.

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Photo credit: Rose-Lynn Fisher, “Tears of Ending and Beginning,” 2013

Marriage or Medicare?

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When faced with a safe, sure thing and a potentially dangerous unknown, especially when the stakes are high, the only good choice can be to choose safety. We see that, Jaylan and I. We understand that we can’t risk the insurance company not covering the drug on which he depends for survival. But we also just really want to get married.

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Credit-Vanderbilt University

The Mask

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Before the mask technology was developed, patients had small markings tattooed on their faces to ensure that each dose of radiation was directed to precisely the same spot. I try to imagine wearing the mask and having my head snapped to a table for ten minutes every day for six weeks. If given the choice, I would prefer facial tattoos.

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staring contest

Staring Contest

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Well-being is just an idea, then, just a name for the pleasant arrangement of chemistry. In real life terms, perhaps well-being is never so well as in those early moments, before anyone says bad or good girl, when all the world is charmed.

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